"I want to commend the girl for calling the Abuse Hotline and being brave enough to ask for help. These children were living in deplorable conditions. I am thankful that these kids are now safe from these two individuals who obviously do not know how to properly care for children,” Sheriff Rick Staly stated.
The girl, reported as 14, called an abuse hotline on October 31st to report that she was considering suicide due to her living conditions which included physical and emotional abuse from her mother and responsibility of caring for her four younger siblings 12, 9, 8, and 6 years old. She also reported that she was in charge of caring for three dogs, a rabbit, and two chickens while her parents worked late into the night.
When officers responded to the address, they reported that the front yard was in a state of disarray with uncut grass, gas cans, beer cans, scrap metal and garbage strewn about.
They noted that the front porch was littered with feces from the two chickens that were allowed to range across the property.
The girl that had called the hotline granted them entry to the home.
Once inside, officers were appalled by what they found. They found rooms filled with animal feces and urine, rotting food, garbage, roaches and other flying insects. They reported some rooms where there was so much refuse that they could not see the floors, and that their boots repeatedly stuck to the muck.
The refrigerator contained no edible food for the children and the freezer held only one bag of frozen chicken.
The home had no running water. In the single bathroom, a garden hose and been run through a window into the shower, and the toilet, used for several days, had no means of waste removal.
Each of the children reported that it had been anywhere between three days and a week since they had last showered. They additionally reported that due to the lack of running water, they had to travel to Bull Creek Fish Camp to shower.
The Department of Children and Families reported to the scene and removed the four younger siblings. The 14 year old girl, due to her suicidal thoughts was taken into protective custody under the Baker Act.
The following day, Betty Nicolicchia-Allen, 42, and Dennis Allen, 33, were arrested and transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility where they were charged with five counts of child neglect. They were each assigned a $5,000 cash bond which they posted on November 2nd.
Their court date was not listed.